Pembury rower Emily Craig is confident a golden start to the season can propel her to European Championship glory in Hungary.

The 31-year-old will pair up with teammate Imogen Grant in Szeged as the duo look to clinch a hat-trick of European titles in the women's lightweight double sculls.

Craig and Grant recently continued their remarkable unbeaten streak at the first World Cup regatta of the season in Varese, coming away with another victory.

The pair haven't lost since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but remain focused on self-improvement.

"Having only two races over three days helped us with the weather in Varese because we can recover and it's been slightly easier to climatise," said Craig.

"I think that will help when we go to Hungary which is also going to be about 30 degrees.

"We've both been chomping at the bit to get going since winter and we feel like we've moved on and so want to show the world what we've been working on."

The pair posted a time that was only five seconds off their own world best in Varese, setting themselves up perfectly ahead of the European Championships.

And with the searing hot weather also providing a practice run for the temperatures in Hungary, Craig believes that their 2024 debut on the water has helped prove just how dangerous they are this Olympic year.

“It's quite a tight turnaround, usually there's three weeks between World Cup regattas but this one is just two,” said Grant.

“The championships side of things adds to the pressure a little bit but for us this season it's just about taking those next steps and that's what Europeans will be about for us.

“Emily has a longer winning streak than me but ultimately we're not even talking about winning the race, we're talking about racing ourselves and being a better crew than last regattas, last year and last Olympiad.”

Craig and Grant were able to hold their concentration following a disruption on the start line in Varese.

Canadian pair Jill Moffatt and Jennifer Casson lost control of an oar in the final, but it wasn't enough to deter the British duo.

Instead, Craig was pleased with how they were able to push the commotion out of their minds and focus on their own race, a key tactic to draw confidence from ahead of the European Championships.

"I think when we go out and talk about doing our own thing, if we are distracted about what's going on next to us, that would have been a big mess up," added Craig.

"Both of us saw it out of the corner of our eyes but cracked on and on the day we handled it really well."

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